Cyclones enter conference slate winners of two straight

Published 8:03 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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Winners of two huge non-conference games, the Elizabethton Cyclones have to be feeling pretty good about where they are after defeating a 6-A and a 5-A school as they prepare to enter the Region 1-4A portion of their schedule when they travel to Rutledge to take on the Grainger High School Grizzlies for a 7:30 pm kickoff.
Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten feels like he is seeing what this year’s team is starting to evolve into and sees growth each time the ball is snapped on both sides of the football.
“Playing at Morristown West shows how opponents are going to get ready when they play the Elizabethton Cyclones,” said Witten. “They know if they can beat us, then they will get some recognition for accomplishing that. They always circle the date on their calendar when we are playing each other.”
Winning games is nothing new for the Cyclones, however, Witten knows that no matter if his team wins by a single point or blows someone completely out of the water, there is always room for improvement especially if the Cyclones want to get back to the state level.
“We spend a lot of time making sure that we get better,” said Witten. “We keep trying to build the depth as well as other areas that we have to grow. Every rep is critical because we have four really big road trips. We are excited to be 2-0 at this point. There is just a lot of focus on ourselves.”
One of the strongest parts of the team this season has been the defense. The entire unit brings something different to the table with one crucial aspect being the speed that is found across the front four.
Even when mistakes have been made this season, the defense has been able to slam the door on the offensive effort from their opposition, allowing only 13 points to date, while the Cyclone offense has put up a total of 47 in two games.
“We have a really good defense,” said Witten. “I really like our defense up front. The last two weeks we have played really well. Our offense hasn’t really turned over the football that much and even though they haven’t come out in the first two quarters as effective as we would have hoped, they have been turning it up a notch in their conditioning level and have executed really well in the second half. We want to be a running football team and try to be more consistent offensively.
“We want to run first to help open it up.”
The Cyclones have leaned on Kaleb Holzer, Zeth Mullins, and J-Train to run the football and then countered that with the passing game to Eli Blevins, Jeriah Griffin, and Luke Whaley.
Right now Elizabethton appears to be playing at mid-season form and with that being the case, other teams had better sit up and take notice.

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